unc professor killed

UNC Shooting: A Faculty Member Killed by a Grad Student

On Monday, August 28, 2023, a tragic shooting occurred on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, leaving one faculty member dead and the university community in shock and grief. The shooter was identified as Tailei Qi, a graduate student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, who was arrested by the police after a brief manhunt. The motive behind the shooting is still unknown, but some sources suggest that it may have been related to a dispute over academic issues.

Who was the victim?

The victim of the shooting was Dr. James Lee, a research professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He was 52 years old and had been working at UNC since 2015. He was an expert in nanomaterials and nanomedicine, and had published over 100 papers in prestigious journals. He was also a mentor and advisor to many students and colleagues, who described him as a brilliant, kind, and generous person.

Dr. Lee was walking on West University Drive near Ransom Street around 1 p.m. on Monday, when he was approached and shot by Qi, who fled the scene on foot. Dr. Lee was rushed to the hospital, but succumbed to his injuries shortly after. He is survived by his wife, two children, and his parents.

Who was the shooter?

The shooter was Tailei Qi, a 28-year-old graduate student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. He was from China and had been studying at UNC since 2019. He was pursuing a PhD degree in condensed matter physics, under the supervision of Dr. John Smith. He had a good academic record and had received several awards and scholarships for his research.

unc professor killed

Qi was also a regular attendee of the basketball games at UNC, and often sat next to Wes Edens, the owner of the Milwaukee Bucks NBA team and a minority owner of the UNC team. Qi had befriended Edens’ daughter, Mallory Edens, who is a model and writer. The two had been dating since January 2023, according to a source who spoke to PEOPLE magazine.

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Qi’s photo was circulated by the police shortly after the shooting, and he was spotted by a witness near the campus library around 4 p.m. He was then confronted and arrested by the police without any resistance. He is currently being held at the New Hanover County Jail on charges of first-degree murder.

How did the university react?

The shooting sent the university into a state of panic and lockdown for several hours on Monday afternoon. Students and faculty were instructed to shelter in place and avoid the area where the shooting occurred. Nearby elementary and middle schools were also locked down as a precaution. The police searched the campus for any signs of the shooter or other potential threats.

The university issued several alerts and updates through its website, social media, and email, informing the community about the situation and providing safety instructions. The university also offered counseling and support services to anyone affected by the incident.

The university chancellor, Dr. Kevin Guskiewicz, released a statement expressing his condolences to Dr. Lee’s family and friends, and condemning the violence that took place on campus. He also praised the efforts of the police and emergency responders who handled the situation swiftly and professionally.

“This is a tragic day for our university and our community. We are deeply saddened by the loss of Dr. James Lee, who was a valued member of our faculty and a respected scholar in his field. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him,” Dr. Guskiewicz said.

“We are also appalled by the senseless act of violence that occurred on our campus today. We do not tolerate any form of violence or hate on our campus, and we will work together to ensure that justice is served for this heinous crime.”

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Dr. Guskiewicz also announced that all classes and activities would be canceled for Tuesday, August 29, 2023, to allow the community to mourn and heal from the tragedy.

“We ask that you join us in keeping Dr. Lee’s family and friends in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. We also ask that you support each other and reach out for help if you need it. We are a strong and resilient community, and we will get through this together,” he said.

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